2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Kaepernick strives to get 49ers back to Super Bowl

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-25 17:15

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Colin Kaepernick's every move is scrutinized now that he has reached rock-star status as a third-year quarterback with the NFL's top-selling jersey.

He showed up for Day 1 of training camp Thursday sporting a black beanie hat and large red headphones hanging from his neck, insisting he is unaffected by it all. No Dolphins gear to be seen.

The hype isn't going away anytime soon.

``There's just more opportunities to do things. For the most part for me, I'm worried about playing football,'' Kaepernick said ahead of the team's first full-squad practice. ``I'm worried about making sure I'm ready to go on the field and perform.''

In six short months since losing in the waning moments of the Super Bowl, Kaepernick has, among other things, appeared unclothed on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's ``The Body Issue.'' And Kaep caused quite a stir by wearing a Miami cap.

He fully expects plenty of grief from teammates as begins his first training camp as the guy under center.

``I haven't had anything real bad yet, so I feel like they're plotting on me right now,'' Kaepernick said with a smile.

The 25-year-old Kaepernick has been fueled by coming so close to the franchise's sixth Super Bowl championship in February, a 34-31 loss to Baltimore. The Niners missed three chances from the 5-yard line, yet Kaepernick is quick to point to a mistake-filled first half.

Coach Jim Harbaugh's forward-focused message has been clear: ``If you're still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today.''

Kaepernick is determined to be that much better in his first full season as starter for the two-time NFC West champions, who expect a big challenge in the division from Seattle and St. Louis. The 49ers are ready for Kaepernick to lead them back to the big stage.

``Kaep is a diverse guy. And the coaches love him. The players love him. It's unique in that way, maybe for a quarterback, you don't always see that. I see that with Kaep,'' said Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback himself. ``He's universally respected in that locker room and loved by his teammates. And guess I see that from the 25-to-35 demographic, too, that are buying jerseys. So people relate to him. They like his company, they like being around him.''

Kaepernick backed up Harbaugh's switch to him from now-Chiefs QB Alex Smith last November by taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years, showing his dynamic ability and versatility immediately.

A 2011 second-round pick out of Nevada, the speedy, strong-armed Kaepernick was 7-3 as a starter last season with 1,814 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. He rushed for a record 181 yards with a 56-yard touchdown in the divisional playoffs against Green Bay, longest in franchise history by a quarterback.

Kaepernick's tireless work ethic and talent earned him the trust of his teammates, many of whom are already approaching him as their leader.

``When we're here doing our minicamp stuff, he's here at 6, 7 in the morning running 200s for seemingly no reason,'' wideout Kyle Williams said. ``He knows how to prepare himself. Guys respect that. And he wins, and he plays well, so obviously guys are going to be in his corner. He's not one of those guys who's gotten success and wants to relax. He wants to go harder.''

Defensive tackle Justin Smith is eager to watch Kaepernick make further strides - and said the defense will do its part.

``He got the opportunity last year, went out there and ran with it,'' Smith said. ``Now he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league. He seized the moment and it seems he's still doing that, working his tail off, leading by example and showing other young guys how to do it. It's pretty cool to watch it from the beginning. It's good to have a dynamic threat like Kaepernick on your side as opposed to chasing after him all the time.''

Notes: S Donte Whitner said he spoke with Harbaugh on Wednesday and the coach told him he hopes a new contract gets done. ... The 49ers activated LB Darius Fleming and Williams from the active/physically unable to perform list. ... WR Michael Crabtree, recovering from surgery on his torn right Achilles tendon, was placed on the active/PUP list. DT Lamar Divens was placed on the active non-football injury list.''... Smith said he is ready to return at full strength after undergoing surgery on his partially torn left triceps after the Super Bowl. ``It's here now, 100 percent,'' he said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

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Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

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Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

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DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

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Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

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Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

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Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

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San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

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